Possibilities Playground Newsletter

How to Make Decisions and Take Action

Imagine for a moment that you’re having a great day – the kind where you wake up feeling good and everything is firing on all cylinders. Your personal life is fulfilling and at work you’re enjoying a new project. Things are wonderfully fun and easy. You’re super happy!

Then add to that a new job offer with people you enjoy working with, yay! It’s a different kind of work than what you’re currently doing, but something that would be equally as stimulating. Ahhhhh, it feels good to be valued and wanted doesn’t it?

Finally, add to the mix that you only have 48 hours to make a decision. You have two great opportunities, but you can only pick one. What do you do?

Well, if you were like me, you’d pick up the phone and call your momma! Hahaha, that’s right, I called my mother and explained the following:

  • Option 1 involved really good money for an extended period of time, less travel away from home, and an opportunity to help roughly 3,000 people doing something I’m exceptionally good at. Awesome.
  • Option 2 involved great money as well, required travel about 50% of the time, would provide an opportunity to refine the skills I need for where I want to go with my career, but didn’t have guaranteed regular income. Humph.

After describing all this and more to my mother, the one comment that put it all into perspective was this:

“I don’t hear any excitement from you around Option 1.”

Translation: While I was carefully weighing all the logical aspects, I was forgetting to tap into and compare how I was feeling about each of them.

And THAT was the key I needed to make my decision. Why?

Simple. Everything in this life is a reflection of how we feel. We attract more of what we feel strongly.

With repetition our emotionally charged thoughts lay the foundation for our beliefs… those beliefs lead to our expectations… those expectations shape our lives. Does that sound a bit overdramatized? Here’s an example:

  • Woman A and B work at the same place, have the same job, dress the same, and receive the same compliments from the same man at the same front desk.
  • Woman A grew up hearing how pretty she was, getting nominated for prom queen and generally having guys fall all over her. She interprets the compliments as absolute truths.
  • Woman B grew up feeling pudgy, getting picked last for the kickball game at recess and having a few bad relationships with charismatic but not nice guys. She interprets the compliments as manipulative chatter designed to get into her pants.
  • The exact same experiences resulted in two very different emotions because those same emotions had been experienced over and over before. Their lives became shaped by the expectations they created based on what they believe to be true after thinking the same thoughts over and over and over again.

Love, joy, excitement, happiness, wonder, worry, bewilderment, boredom, frustration, sadness, fear, guilt: those are just some of the possible emotional responses we have to things in our lives that, when felt with enough intensity, emit a signal to the Universe indicating we want more of that very thing. Some think of it like an energetic, non-verbal prayer of sorts. Another way to think of it is that our feelings are a beacon shining beyond what we see in front of us. Just as a lighthouse provides guidance to ships in a dark and foggy night, our consistent and strong feelings are screaming to be heard and followed.

Returning to my story, had I chosen the option that didn’t excite me, I would’ve been putting out the message via my feelings of being worried about financial security that a safe and predictable path was what I wanted more of instead of one which offered growth, excitement and passion. And if there’s anything I know, it’s that ‘safe and secure’ does not lead to the biggest, glorious and most rewarding adventures in life. So of course, I chose the option that lit me up inside with its potential – even though there were some uncertainties with it.

So there you have it. That was my dilemma and how I found my way when I didn’t know what to do. Yet, the lesson doesn’t end there – there was something else that I was reminded of. Given my complete and total awareness of how my very existence is determined by my Higher Self – which can totally get inadvertently skipped over when the voices of logic and a busy life get loud – I was reminded of how important it is to have a good mentor or coach. Someone in our lives who listens without judgment or from a place of need, who can gently hold up a mirror for us to see the priorities that our Higher Selves hold dear.

I often talk about mentors when training in the corporate environment, yet I don’t believe I’ve fully embraced it in my own life. Sure, I’ve had mentors at work; I’ve always had my mother (thank gawd); and I’ve hired my share of coaches, but more often than not they’ve fallen into the business coaching category. And while those business coaches certainly considered my personal life, it’s actually been a long time since I’ve had just a life coach. So I am hereby proclaiming to the Universe that I’m ready for a life coach!

After all, it’s easy to get lost in our own thoughts, and a life coach helps us get and stay more focused than we could if left to our own devices. I could use some help with that, and if you’re wondering whether or not you could too, here’s some useful questions and answers to guide you on your way:

What is and is not considered life coaching?

  • It is a professional, confidential service – not a friendship
  • It is focused on moving forward – not dwelling on the past
  • It is a form of accountability – not therapy
  • It is a way of finding your own answers – not being told what to do

How do I know if a life coach would help me with what I want?

  • You want something different in your life but feel blocked
  • You are easily side tracked with ‘life’ and lose focus of your goals
  • You struggle with self motivation and understand the power of being held accountable

How do I find a life coach?

  • Search the internet
  • Ask friends on Facebook or LinkedIn for recommendations
  • Check out sites like Coach U, International Coach Federation, FindaCoach.com, etc.
  • Interview at least three coaches to get a sense of their style, approach and how well you connect with them, more if you’re so inclined

What should I look for in a life coach?

  • Personal experience in the area you’re seeking help with
  • Ability to listen, communicate clearly and relate easily
  • Positive outlook and personal resilience
  • Definitive process for how they will support you and hold you accountable with flexibility around techniques they recommend

What alternatives are there to using an ‘official’ life coach?

  • Find a mentor at work or within one of your professional groups (e.g. I’m a member of NAPW and offer to mentor 1-2 other members at a time)
  • Find someone else who wants the same thing and buddy up with them, ensuring you all define a clear approach and an accountability schedule
  • Lots of coaches have free newsletters with tips and inspiration
  • Some coaches offer lower cost group programs that are very similar in nature to their one-on-one programs (here’s a shameless plug for mine – I call it The Midlife Makeover System)

Whether you’re looking for assistance in making a decision and taking action around a relationship, career, your health, finances or anything else – having an experienced, trusted, neutral partner dedicated to your success is truly one of the best ways to achieve what you want in life.

Here’s to your possibilities and those who assist in making them your reality!
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How to Make Decisions and Take Action by Sara Russell of Feel the Possibilities
Visit Sara at: www.feelthepossibilities.com
Send email to sara@feelthepossibilities.com